Thursday, September 10, 2015

On Summer, Life and Death, and Change

Warning, this post may not be for everyone, but I need to write it down to process it.

Out of 82 nights of summer this year I think I slept in my own bed 34 nights.  And of those 34 I had my family home with me maybe 24 nights.  About half of that was planned, but the other half was not.  It's been a loooong summer.  What with the kitchen remodel taking way longer than anticipated (no, it's not quite done yet) and then previously planned vacations for 3 weeks away, plus one more last week that was just me, I am quite happy to be home again.  (which also explains the total lack of blogging here this summer, it's really complicated to edit photos and blog from a smartphone only!)

However, life does not look like what I anticipated it would this fall.  Last week I went to Sweden (yes, I'll post pictures soon) and less than 24 hours after I got there I learned that the beloved teacher of my son's preschool/kinder class had committed suicide.  I'm still processing that one with tears every day, but it was especially hard to be in a foreign country with a cousin I'd just met and 9 hours of time difference from my friends and family back here.

I read a book on the plane on my way over and the one thing I got out of it was that the actions of one person can have a ripple effect in various ways on all of those around you.  Ironic that I wrote that and posted it just before I got the news about my son's teacher.  Even we are feeling plenty of ripple effects.

We were not friends really outside of school, but I have never met a teacher that was more perfectly suited to his job.  The kids all adored him, he was calm and patient (and believe me, that can be the world's toughest job in a class full of 3, 4, and 5 year olds) and had a joy for learning and teaching that he instilled in every child there.  He was always sharing articles with the parents about education and philosophy and was more than happy to chat with any of us after school.

A few people I've talked to about this have been angry with him for his actions, but I just simply don't understand that.  His family, friends, and students have all been deeply hurt by this, yes, but knowing him I can't imagine that he did this without having been in so much pain he felt like he couldn't go on.  It doesn't make sense any other way to me.  Perhaps because I have at times wondered if people would notice if I was gone I can't be angry at him.  Our world is broken and life can be lonely even when you're surrounded by people.  Maybe the lesson here (as if we really need one, but something has to make sense) is that we need to be more, much more, intentional about telling people how much they mean to us.  Being grateful for someone AND reaching out to let them know.

Then yesterday at our first MOPS meeting all the various leaders were being introduced and my old mentor mom was talking about something and said and you know, change is inevitable.  And I thought, man, how true.  My life is changing and some of it changed quite rapidly this week.  Where I thought Brian would be dropping Noah off  at school now I have to take him to school every morning and pick him up at noon.  That changes the look of my days more than I ever imagined.  Plus, it means I have to be ready to leave the house with the girls ready as well a good hour earlier than I ever have.  Have I ever mentioned I'm a night owl?  This is going to be interesting.  So far this week it hasn't been so bad, but considering my body may not know what time zone I'm in right now it's okay.  However, my penchant is to stay up late after the kids are in bed and it's going to be hard to change that habit.

Finally, my doctor says the best way to fight crazy emotions and hormones is to start by eating right and exercising.  So now I guess I don't have an excuse of "I'm too tired" to exercise.  And just when I thought I'd be getting back into a routine where I could, now I'm leaving the house at 8am every day.

Change.  I'm not a fan, especially with no warning, but I don't think I have a choice this time around.

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